Sunday, March 1, 2009

UPDATE: Martin Jeffrey to Challenge Onzlee Ware

UPDATE: Press release and press conference this week. Meet-up at Starbucks today. Activist Martin Jeffrey has notified the Roanoke City Democratic Chair, Tony Reed, that he will challenge incumbent Democrat Delegate Onzlee Ware in a primary on June 9.

Posted By Valerie Garner

Categories: Election 2009, Politics, Roanoke City Politics, State Politics

Tags: , , ,

Comments (1)

Aaron Lyles

March 5th, 2009 at 6:46 PM    

Valerie, here is the official press release that went out last evening. Thanks,
Aaron Lyles
Communications Director
Martin Jeffrey for Delegate
540-793-0589 (cell)

Martin Jeffrey announces run for 11th District House of Delegates seat

For Immediate Release
March 4th, 2009
Roanoke and Vinton VA

Martin “MJ” Jeffrey today announces his intention to run for the 11th District House of Delegates seat currently held by Onzlee Ware. Jeffrey is running as a Democrat and will seek to secure the Democratic Party’s nomination in the upcoming June 9th primary election.

After careful consideration, Jeffrey has decided to seek this office in order to ensure that the 11th district has more effective leadership on a state legislative level. Jeffrey’s leadership is enhanced by his strong ties and close kinship with citizens of the district (which includes much of Roanoke City and Vinton) and is inspired as well by Barack Obama’s new leadership and administration. Jeffrey is a longtime Roanoke resident and has often been involved in political action and discourse and has served as a proven advocate for Roanoke valley citizens.

His campaign has started to take shape as Jeffrey has initiated filing paperwork for his bid to the State Board of Elections (SBE) and is beginning the process of collecting signatures for the bid, as required by law. A campaign staff has been assembled and the campaign’s website has been launched.

The campaign’s efforts will be largely to personally connect with and empower voters in the district through house parties, rallies, voter registration drives, and direct appeals (via telephone and at doorsteps) utilizing significant volunteer efforts, explaining his broad platform for the district. In doing so, it is Jeffrey’s sincere hope that more people will be brought into the democratic process. Volunteers are invited to contact the campaign to become involved in what will be an exhilarating campaign, reminiscent of last fall.

Jeffrey states: “The current Delegate has failed to adequately represent the citizens of the 11th District in his position as Delegate. He has failed to develop a significant vision for the Roanoke Valley and the region. The hallmark of this campaign and my tenure as a state legislator will be to establish a clear vision for the district and to be an effective advocate for the people who live in the district.” The current delegate has failed to address the needs of his constituents, as he has been otherwise occupied by special interests, collecting over 70,000 dollars in 2007 alone from outside this district and (indeed) from across the US. His contributors, according to the Virginia State Board of Elections, include a litany of payday lenders, lobbyists, car title loanmakers, a long list of political action committees (PACs), and a string of alcohol and tobacco purveyors. We ask in this open letter to the press and the public: Is this the leadership that we need? How has this money influenced his votes in our legislature? Has this money colored his judgment?

Martin Jeffrey, Democrat, believes that people, not special interests and PACs should organize and elect their representatives. Jeffrey has boldly vowed to not take a dollar from those who neither live nor work in the 11th district.

Jeffrey and his wife Sharron live in the Gainsboro neighborhood of Roanoke. He is the father of four children. Originally from Oklahoma, Jeffrey has lived in Roanoke since 1983. He is self-employed as a consultant and also works for Elizabeth Arden.

Jeffrey has deep experience in several fields, among them:
Business Management (For-profit and non-profit)
Community Relations
Employment Development
Economic Development

He worked for many years with TAP (Total Action Against Poverty), developing programs, developing grant proposals, supervising staff and conducting community development and outreach. He has been honored as well to serve on many local boards, committees and foundations, among them the American Red Cross, the West End Center for Youth, Roanoke Neighborhood Partnership, Virginia Cares, The Arts Council of the Blue Ridge, and the Roanoke Education Foundation.

An initial release comprising this statement has been sent via email to hundreds of people in our community.

The campaign desires to hold a press conference to further discuss this announcement on Saturday 7th March at 1:30pm. The location for this event will be the corner of Market and Salem Avenues downtown (behind the City Market building).The press conference will be an informal gathering of citizens and all are invited.

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